Giving Connor Shaw a Shot, Browns Plan Affects Bears, Berry Wants to Stay, and Other Bullets

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Giving Connor Shaw a Shot, Browns Plan Affects Bears, Berry Wants to Stay, and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears

No matter which direction the Chicago Bears decide to go to find their starting quarterback for 2017 (and beyond), the decision will be highly scrutinized.

There are options in the draft, free agency, trade market and anywhere else quarterbacks may be. Each path has its own risks, whether it is the bust rate via the draft route, the sacrifice of dollars and cap room in free agency, the risk of not getting fair value from trade currency, and more.

Best of luck to GM Ryan Pace in his attempt to find the balance in each risk-reward scenario.

Yet, Dan Pompei of The Athletic has an outside-the-box idea with an internal option.

Last year, Connor Shaw looked to have the inside track on a roster spot with how he was playing in the preseason before a leg injury ended Shaw’s year before it got started. The injury locked up spots for Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley, both quarterbacks who eventually received ample time to make a case for their Bears future follow Jay Cutler’s shoulder injury.

Shaw didn’t get that opportunity, and Pompei argues that – at minimum – he has warranted further evaluation from the Bears in 2017.

And with as much uncertainty as the position has at this stage of the offseason, the Bears could certainly do worse. Shaw is a restricted free agent for 2017, so the Bears will almost certainly be able to keep him if they want to.

  • If the Bears have an eye on signing defensive playmakers in free agency, note that safety Eric Berry hopes to return to the Chiefs on a long-term deal. Berry is the defensive game-changer the Bears seek for their re-vamped secondary because he can play well against the run and pass, but he can be hit with the franchise tag. Even still, Kansas City still has to make decisions on defensive tackle Dontari Poe and possibly running back Jamaal Charles.
  • Browns tackle Joe Thomas – the No. 3 overall pick in 2007 – is clear in who he wants the team to pick with the first pick in 2017. Thomas wants to see his team go defense, preferably with a pass rusher when they make the first selection in the 2017 NFL Draft. Perhaps Myles Garrett (who it seems will miss the Texas A&M campus) is the player Thomas would have his eyes on instead of a quarterback?
  • And for as desperate as the Browns are to get a franchise quarterback, Thomas made valid points backing his argument on The Dan Patrick Show: “You gotta be careful reaching for a quarterback at No. 1 because if they fail, they don’t help your team at all. Whereas if you pick a defensive lineman and maybe they don’t live up to the hype, you can still find a place to get him on the field and to have an impact. We’re a team that needs guys that can come in and start and that can contribute. I think that’s the risk of taking a quarterback.”
  • The Bears could be in a similar situation two spots after the Browns make their selection. There is an obvious need at quarterback, but it isn’t the only spot on the depth chart needing improvement. Further, drafting a quarterback really puts the onus on the Bears to hit on the selection of complimentary offensive players, too. Which might seem counterproductive in a draft loaded with defensive talent. But not putting the right complementary pieces around a young quarterback could set the organization back yet again.
  • But hey, relax for a minute and allow yourself to laugh for a minute at the fact that no one really knows which (if any) quarterbacks will be successful in the NFL.
  • GM Ryan Pace can pick from several avenues en route to rebuilding the Bears. Over at The Athletic, Dan Durkin provides his own road map for Pace to follow this offseason. Without giving up too much, Durkin outlines plans for bringing Alshon Jeffery back into the fold, adding playmakers on defense, a draft plan, and what to do with quarterback Jay Cutler. Give it a look.
  • Meanwhile, let’s check out a particularly crazy element of the Pro Bowl skills competition (and smack that follow button!):



Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.